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At least 29 children killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen

On Thursday, August 9th 2018, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a school bus near a market in Dahyan city in the Houthi-controlled province of Saada, Yemen. At least 29 children were killed in the airstrike and a further 30 children wounded.

It was reported by Johannes Bruwer, the head of an ICRC delegation in Yemen, that “according to local officials a total of 50 people died and 77 were injured”. The ICRC hospital in Al Talh received 30 dead, including 29 children, and 48 of the injured, including a further 30 children.

The bus hit was carrying summer-school students from a religious school who were out on a field trip marking their graduation from summer school. The children, reportedly ages 6 to 11, had visited a graveyard for rebels, one of the few green spaces left in the northern Saada governorate where most parks and gardens have been destroyed in the violence.

Just a week earlier, on August 2nd 2018, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit a busy fish market and outside the entrance to al-Thawra hospital in Hudaydah, leaving dozens killed and injured.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

In the first half of 2018, AOAV recorded a 32% increase in civilian casualties from explosive violence in Yemen, compared to the same period last year (703 to 926).

An increase in civilian casualties from Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in 2018 is responsible for much of the harm, with a 37% increase in civilian casualties from airstrikes (with 778 civilian casualties in the first half of 2018, compared to 567 during the same period in 2017).

AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all states and groups to stop using weapons with wide-area impacts in populated areas, due to the severe impact these have on civilians.